Developed by Bull for the Languedoc-Roussillon regional authorities, Mon Sud de France (My South of France) is available as an app on iPhone and iPad. Much more than just a tourist guide, it’s an innovative showcase for a high-quality offering.
Every year, some 15 million people visit the Languedoc-Roussillon, making it France’s fourth most popular tourist area. The Region is keen to promote its key attractions – including its beautiful landscape, lifestyle and cultural vitality – through an ambitious development strategy for its tourism sector, which already accounts for 15% of the regional economy. The creation of the Sud de France (South of France) brand and the Qualité Sud de France (South of France Quality Assured) quality mark are two major elements in this dynamic approach. But tourists’ expectations and habits are changing, and international competition is increasingly acute: so technology also has an essential role to play. The mobile app Mon Sud de France, Destination Languedoc-Roussillon, developed by Bull, is a good illustration of this will to respond to the new challenges faced by the tourism industry with innovative ideas.
A wealth of functionality and ease of use
Already available in two versions (for iPhone and iPad), the free Mon Sud de France app is a mobile tourist guide designed to help visitors throughout their stay in the Languedoc-Roussillon. The app aims to help tourists discover the area and its rich wealth of attractions, by bringing together thousands of carefully selected tourist offerings – especially those that have been awarded the Qualité Sud de France mark – across six categories: Sport and leisure, Culture and heritage, Food and wine, Health and well-being, Accommodation and Eating out. Featuring dynamic mapping, geo-location and a modern, intuitive user interface, the app takes full advantage of all the options offered by mobile, touch-screen media. Its wealth of functions allows the user to choose what’s on offer by category and location, to create their own made-to-measure itinerary, contact an establishment with just one click, record their own travel journal and share their experiences on social networks. With links to the Destinationsuddefrance.com Web site – the Languedoc-Roussillon’s other key tool in its transformation to digital tourism – the Mon Sud de France app is updated in real time to mirror the regional tourism database.
The Region was able to capitalize on Bull’s extensive expertise for the app project, which was part-funded by the European Union. The Group had already developed and implemented an iPad tool for the council’s decision-makers. With this experience behind them, the Bull team was well versed in the specific technical requirements for smartphones and tablets, especially the integration of geographic elements and interconnection with back office systems (in this case, the tourist offerings database). Nevertheless, because the app is designed for a mass market audience and is a veritable showcase for regional tourism, not only did it have to be faultless from the usability point of view, but it also had to be ready in plenty of time for the tourist season. These two requirements led the project team to adopt an agile development methodology, with successive phases of users’ tests and adjustments. “Bull’s approach has always involved listening closely to our business needs, and their expertise has enabled us to innovate while keeping within our budget and tight timescales, to achieve an end result that not only meets our goals but also the public’s expectations,” stresses Pierre Trilles, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Manager at the Languedoc-Roussillon regional council. The Mon Sud de France is available now from Apple’s AppStore. Different versions will shortly be available for other mobile platforms.
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